MakerNot! Local 3D printer company to outsource production

Print jobs: Shortly after layoffs, MakerBot opens new factory, begins hiring
Photo by Jason Speakman

MakerBot is pulling the plug on production at its Sunset Park plant less than a year after cutting the ribbon on a new factory there, company honchos announced on April 25.

Workforce groups and local pols praised the 3D printer maker last year, when it announced it was hiring 40 mostly factory-line workers to augment a staff of 140, but now MakerBot will outsource fabrication to mega-manufacturer Jabil, which means “a significant number” of Brooklyn workers have to hit the bricks, officials said.

“We will transition production from our factory to Jabil over the coming months, which means that we will have to part with some of our talented and hard-working colleagues at our factory,” chief executive Jonathan Jaglom wrote on the company’s blog, adding the layoffs will happen gradually.

He’s axing workers to cut costs, because the Brooklyn-born company doesn’t want to pay pricey New York rent when it is having trouble selling printers, he said.

“We expect that adopting a flexible manufacturing model will allow us to quickly scale production up or down based on market demands, without the fixed costs associated with maintaining a factory in New York City,” wrote Jaglom, who took the helm in 2015 after parent company Stratasys bought MakerBot for $403 million in 2013.

He will keep some staff working in “logistics, repair, planning, quality, and operations” at Industry City, where the company rents more floor space than an entire Sunset Park block, but Jaglom would not say how many employees he’s chopping or how much space he’ll cede.

The company will move “a handful of people from the factory” to sales and tech support positions, a spokesman said. It will also host a job fair in conjunction with Industry City to find jobs for the laid-off workers, officials said.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.